Here it is -- the Third Edition of the only current book on straight razors is back, with 32 additional pages, new material, new photographs, and again lots of color photography.
Reviewed by Knife World staff
The collecting world has been waiting a good long while for a new general guide to straight razors. By my count, it’s been over five years since the previous edition of Standard Guide to Razors was published, and much longer than that since anyone other than the Ritchie/Stewart tandem have published a book covering the spectrum of straight razors and their values. While I don’t think anyone would deny that knife collectors outnumber straight razor collectors by a wide margin, it’s also true that there are many collectors of knives and other antique specialities who have sufficient interest in razors to have accumulated a dozen or two in their travels. These folks are just a short step away from getting serious about razors – and auctions online and otherwise have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are plenty of serious collectors ready to tap deep pockets for the very best pieces.
We’re pleased to report that the wait for the Third Edition of this book is finally over, and that the new book reflects a great deal of effort to update its contents. 32 pages of additional material have been added, including quite a lot of new photographs, most of them in full color. The core, of course, remains: sections on the history of shaving, straight razor collecting, a full color handle material identification guide, thoughts on determining a razor’s age, factors that determine collector values, an appraisal chart, and a listing of manufacturers with base collector values.
One of the most interesting new additions to the book is the “Razor Dating at a Glance” timeline on page 73, something that has not before been attempted so far as I am aware. While best used with a healthy dose of common sense, this is a useful tool for teaching neophyte collectors what features are useful in determining a razor’s age.
On a related note, the book’s authors have elected to incorporate a razor’s approximate age into their value appraisal chart in this edition, providing the user more guidance on the effect of a given razor’s age upon value. In this reviewer’s mind, this is an important addition that will prove even more so in the years to come, as even the more plain early razors become scarcer and scarcer.
Standard Guide to Razors, Third Edition winds up with sections on how to shave with a razor, thoughts on the care and management of a razor collection, displaying your razors, and finally, a new section on auctions, online and otherwise. It may be the only basic guide to straight razor collecting in print, but it carries the torch well. No one with more than a passing interest in straight razors should be without a copy for their bookshelf.
Standard Guide To Razors; Identification & Values
by Roy Ritchie & Ron Stewart
Softcover, 256 pp.
OUT OF PRINT -- Visit our Out of Print page to see if we have any used copies available.